Synthetic Biology: Opportunities for biotechnology in Germany?
Synthetic biology is an emerging field at the interface between molecular biology, organic chemistry, engineering, nanobiotechnology and IT. Specialists in these disciplines work together to create biological systems that do not occur in nature. Synthetic biology covers a wide range of topics, including DNA engineering, complete genome synthesis, genome transplantation, synthetic regulatory networks and genome minimisation. It also encompasses efforts to create biohybrid systems with the aim of building “lifelike” processes and systems.
acatech, the German Research Foundation and Leopoldina have produced a joint position paper and formulated a series of recommendations setting out how Germany can best leverage the potential of synthetic biology, as well as the measures that must be taken to shape the regulatory and social framework that will determine the success or failure of this new technology. Ethical and legal aspects and matters relating to the technology’s implementation were addressed at conferences organised by acatech, the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences and Dechema. Potential funding measures and the dialogue with the public on this topic are being discussed with a range of partners.
Project group members
- Garabed Antranikian
Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg
- Nediljko Budisa
Technische Universität Berlin
- Bernd Müller-Röber
- Alfred Pühler
Ehrenvorstandsmitglied der CeBiTec, Universität Bielefeld
- Hermann Sahm
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
- Arne Skerra
Technische Universität München
- Christian Wandrey
ehem. Institutsleiter, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
- Günther Wess
Wissenschaftlich-Technischer Geschäftsführer, Helmholtz Zentrum München